MP welcomes economic proposals

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Proposed rail links in the north. © One North / IPPR North

Proposed rail links in the north. © One North / IPPR North

A leading think tank has unveiled proposals to transform the economy in the north of England, including an ambitious rail link between the north west and New York.

The Institute for Public Policy Research North has released the publication which includes the winning idea of their ‘Great North Plan’ competition, which called for under-25s to present innovative ideas to transform the northern economy and also the George Stephenson Prize for industry professionals.

The winner of the George Stephenson Prize was put forward by Transport for Greater Manchester and introduced a 15-year, £15 billion plan of interconnected transport infrastructure proposals covering air, roads, ports and rail.

These plans also include a recommendation for a high-speed east-west rail route that connects Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle; a plan which has been endorsed by the government.

Liverpool Riverside MP, Louise Ellman has welcomed the recommendations, telling JMU Journalism: “Improved rail links, including North/South high speed rail and East/West connectivity, are vital for economic regeneration. Access to Liverpool must be improved for passengers as well as for freight to serve our expanding deep water port. Proposals for programming these plans in a firm timetable are welcomed.”

The winner of the ‘One North’ under-25s competition, Future Roads, includes ambitious ideas for solar panelling to replace sections of asphalt roads, harnessing friction energy through vibration ribs in order to supply energy to the national grid and also to power electric filling stations.

Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North said: “The Chancellor has given every indication that he will announce significant infrastructure investment for the North of England in his forthcoming Autumn Statement. This is most welcome but the North of England needs a pipeline of proposals for future investment that not only ensure on-going investment, but also shape the kind of economy the North of England needs to become.”

Other commended plans included a electromagnetically powered vaccum train which would connect Manchester to New York through a transatlantic pipeline and a scheme where cities receive funding in exchange for environmental plans.

About Josh Handscomb, JMU Journalism